August was cruel to ObamaCare and the president’s poll numbers. Obama’s first year has been cruel to politically moderate media spinners who thought Obama was the model of sobriety and restraint. But none of these match the devastation wreaked on Hillary Clinton by her fateful decision to accept the secretary of state position in her former rival’s administration.
At best she has become a marginal player, waxing lyrical about agricultural projects in India and roads in Africa, but not the key force — or even one of the key forces — in formulating American foreign policy. In a spin-filled Washington Post column, the best her supporters can come up with is this:
By all accounts, she is the consummate team player and is often the best-briefed, most prepared person in the room. President Obama’s aides say he values her advice and appreciates her dedication, dampening speculation that he and his erstwhile rival would not work well together.
But after eight months in office, Clinton, 61, sometimes seems torn between her inclination to lead and her need to function effectively within the administration, creating a certain tension between her aspirations and her status.
However, she has been front and center in two of the worst blunders of the administration: its failed effort to bully Israel into a settlement freeze and its disastrous Honduras policy.
As to Israel, her public scolding of Israel and the administration’s private finger-wagging over the minutiae of Israeli settlement activity bore no fruit, revealing how preposterous was the entire notion that attacking our ally Israel would encourage the parties to come together. Her handiwork of course only encouraged Palestinian intransigence and alienated our closest ally in the region.
But nothing quite tops her Honduras foray. Backing Hugo Chavez’s ally, refusing to endorse a new election without reinstating Manuel Zelaya, and threatening a democratic ally (which is a very dangerous thing to be these days) has brought that country to the brink of war. And again Hillary has been out front, lecturing Honduras, refusing to listen to the entreaties of conservative senators to rethink her approach, and lacking the sense at multiple junctures to step back from her fulsome opposition to the constitutional removal of Zelaya.